Finding a broken piece of your own tooth inside your mouth while eating can be a strange and unpleasant experience. It can feel even worse if you’ve experienced an accident that caused your tooth to chip or break. While tooth enamel is incredibly tough, its not invincible. Broken and chipped teeth can occur due to a variety of reasons such as eating hard foods or biting down on a fork or a spoon. Tooth decay can also cause your teeth to be more vulnerable to damage. If you’ve got a damaged tooth, don’t panic; your Boise dentist at Summit Dental is here to help when it comes to your best smile restoration.
A chipped tooth can be restored in the following ways:
- Fillings. Fillings don’t just cover cavities, in fact, sometimes they are used as a quick, easy, and affordable way to repair a chipped tooth. Fillings are best for small chips, and can be placed in just one Boise dental visit.
- Bonding. If your front tooth is chipped, your Boise dentist will most likely recommend bonding. With bonding, your Boise dentist will slightly roughen the surface of your tooth before applying an adhesive substance and attaching the bonding material. They will then shape the material and use an ultraviolet light to harden it. Anesthesia is usually not needed, and the process can be done in as little as one visit.
- Veneers. Veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are attached to the front part of your tooth. Like bonding, your Boise dentist will slightly roughen the front of your tooth before applying an adhesive, and attaching the veneer. However, veneers are formed in a lab, and they require a 2-3 week turn-around time before your Boise dentist can place them. While this process takes a bit longer, it does allow for a more beautiful, custom fit.
- Crowns. For larger chips, Boise dental crowns may be in order. A crown is a tooth colored cap that covers the surface of the tooth and provides protection. While regular Boise dental crowns often required two or three Boise dental visits, advances in oral health technology have allowed your Boise dentist to provide a faster, more effective solution. In fact, with the help of Cerec digital impressions, your Boise dentist can create and place a brand-new, custom made crown in just one visit. CEREC digital impressions provides a digital picture of your tooth before converting it into a 3-dimensional virtual model. Your restoration design data is then sent to a separate milling machine that contains a ceramic block that matches your tooth shade. About 10-20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored, best smile restoration is finished and ready to bond in place.
- Root Canal. If your chip is so large that it reaches your tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be in order. With a root canal, your Boise dentist will remove the dead pulp from your tooth before cleaning out the root canal and sealing it to prevent additional bacteria from getting in. Your tooth is then covered with a Boise dental crown as mentioned above.
Should you chip a tooth, it’s important to see your Boise dentist as soon as possible. However, until you can see your Boise dentist, it’s important to rinse your mouth with salt water and cover any jagged areas of the chipped tooth with dental wax to prevent any cheek or lip injuries. Remember to eat soft foods, and try not to chew with the broken tooth. A chipped tooth can be vulnerable to further damage and infection, which could ultimately result in tooth loss.